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Justin Henry Rubin © 2005 Many young composers are under the impression that since tertian harmony is based on thirds, that quartal harmony is a replacement, being based on fourths. However, in practice (and in the literature) it is more of an augmentation of the tertian vocabulary, not a substitution. Some of the first prominent composers to write pieces implementing quartal concepts, such as Hugo Distler, Arnold Schönberg, and Paul Hindemith, rarely simply stacked perfect fourths on top of one another (an exception would be Schönberg's Chamber Symphony Op. 9 in the slow section). Instead, they re-examined the concepts of consonance vs. dissonance. If one rotates a series of stacked fourths over the tonic in C (C, F, and Bb) one notices that also inherent in the combination is the minor seventh/major second (C to Bb). As such, the intervals of the major second, perfect fourth, and minor seventh all can be considered consonances intervals that no longer need resolution. In addition, the use of a minor seventh over the tonic implies a flatted seventh scale degree in the key - a modal influence over a tonal one. The sharing of sonorities between the tertian and quartal harmonic realms carries over to the often ambivalent articulation of tonal and modal structures. Once again, rather than choosing one system over another, composers have taken a more inclusive approach, allowing for both languages to co-exist within the confines of a single work. An approach often observed regarding voice leading in pieces that employ quartal harmony is the somewhat archaic use of parallel perfect intervals. Derived from one of the earliest forms of Western music, organum uses parallel fourths, fifths, and octaves to reinforce its modal melodies. Although disallowed in subsequent eras, this sonority only expands the modern composer's palette if used judiciously Most of western music, from the days of Vivaldi, Bach, Beethoven, Ellington, Parker, Gershwin to todays songwriters is based on "tertian" harmony. Tertian Harmony is defined as: Harmony that is based on the interval of thirds. Example: We have the key of C major. When this scale is harmonized, the notes are stacked upon each other in thirds, or taking every third note above the scale tone or root. Thus creating our chord, triad, 7th chords, and/or their extensions- (9,11,13). C-E-G-B is the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th degree of the scale. D-F-A-C is the 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th degree of the scale, thus our minor (ii) chord. Quartal Harmony, harmony based on fourths, gained its popularity in the early 1960's with Jazz pianist McCoy Tyner. With the advent of Modal Jazz this style of playing, this harmony, proved to adhere to the "openness" style of improvisation. One of the characteristics of this type of harmony is the ambiguity of
the chord. The construction of this chord gives it this "ambiguity". The construction is the same as tertian harmony but instead the notes are separated by the distance of 4th's. This is perfect fourths or augmented 4ths depending on which note is in the scale. Example: "C-F-Bb-Eb" is Cm7 chord. Another characteristic of this style of harmony is that the notes in the quartal voicings can sound like any number of different chords. The example below shows a harmonized "C" major scale in fourths. How the formula is written as it is stacked in 4th's like such: 1st degree)C Major 7 add 11(1,4,7,3). 2nd)D min7add11 (1,4,b7,b3), 3rd) E min7add11, 4th) F maj7add#4 (1,#4,3,7), G dom7 add11 (1,4,b7,3), A min7add11 and B min7add11. With the stacking of 4th's its impossible to form a Bmin7b5 chord. Check out the example below. The example also shows the (5-4-3-2) string group. Good Luck! In music, quartal harmony is the building of chordal and melodic structures with a distinct preference for intervals of fourths. ( Listen). Quintal harmony is harmonic structure preferring fifths. Use of the term arises from a contrast, compositional or perceptual, with traditional tertian harmonic constructions. Listeners familiar with music during and after the Common practice period perceive tonal music as that which uses the major and minor chords ( Listen), wherein both the major third and minor third ( Listen) intervals constitute the basic harmonic structural-elements. Quartal harmonic sound, however, stood already on the threshold of the more coherent European polyphonic music of the Middle Ages, but was replaced by the triadic harmony of tonality as it developed in the Renaissance. Again at the beginning of the 20th century, it played a strong role in contemporary music-styles. Quartal harmony imbued modern music with structural commonalities, laying parts more widely separated in space and/or time, allowing for a very different sound. Quintal harmony is a lesser-used term, and since the fifth is the inversion of the fourth, it is usually considered indistinct from quartal harmony. Harmony is that part of music theory concerned with the properties of simultaneously sounding tones. In pitch-difference between tones (Latin intervals), the perfect fourth amounts to five semitones ( Listen); The name fourth comes from the fact that in most common scales, this interval is the distance from the fourth tone to its tonic ( Listen: the first four notes of several diatonic scales). The interval concept refers to the pitch-distance between two successively or simultaneously sounding tones. Under inversion one finds those intervals which together make up an octave; a third inverts to a sixth. The term descending fourth (or descending fifth, third, etc.) is used for intervals displaced into the octave below. A rising fifth C - G, for example, inverts to the descending fourth G - C. In this article, Chord symbols will have a capital letter for the Fundamental or Tonic, which indicates a major third and fifth above forming a Major Triad. The addition of m stands for Minor, in which a minor
and its complement has the ratio of 3:4. having the tones C . The fifth has a ratio of 3:2. In modern music this chord is often used in a distinct way so it can also stand for itself and not function as an altered triad. octave. or 2:1. for example with experiments on the Monochord. giving the ratio 880:440. from four).G . a Suspended chord) indicates that the expected third in a stable major or minor triad is replaced by a fourth instead. written as C9 or Cmaj9. In the Middle Ages the fourth was considered a concord. The octave has the ratio of 2:1. and removed from the group of concords. octave. music theorists sometimes classified the fourth as a dissonance requiring resolution. Modern acoustic theory supports the medieval interpretation insofar as the intervals of a unison.instead of a major third sounds against the tonic. This interval became the framework upon which the tetrachords of Greek music theory were built. the fourth and fifth together were the concordantiae mediae (middle consonances) after the unison and octave. The abbreviation sus4 (suspended fourth. This chord functions in classical tonality as the Dominant seventh chord. as was the unison. with the addition add. In the 13th century. the beautiful intervals. C7 refers to a C-major chord with an additional Minor seventh. fifth and fourth have particularly simple frequency ratios. and before the thirds and sixths. Ancient and medieval music theorists were familiar with these ratios.  Elements of Quartal harmony  Short history of the fourth Main article: Perfect fourth The ancient Greeks defined the group of "symphonia". naming the fourth "syllabe" (Greek: fastened together) and later Diatessaron (Greek: by four. Also. In the 15th century it was considered dissonant. The addition maj7 (an abbreviation of major seventh) extends the triad with an additional Major seventh. respectively.E . After the 12th century. and later the third.E . extra tones at a specified distance from the tonic sound. (Listen) with perfect (a). Both seventh chords can be even further extended with a major Ninth. augmented (b) and diminished (c) fourths . for example the interval between A' at A440 and A'' at 880 Hz. fifth.G .A. In C6 or C(add6) appear the tones C .B♭.
fifth-chords. As in the tonality pervading European music (between about 1600 and 1900) such quartal sounds appear mainly as a suspension in the voice leading. In the literature. These intervals become increasingly considered "obsolete". or sixth to a chord. It became very common in the 20th century for the fourth to be used as a structural element.  Definition The concept of Quartal harmony outlines a formal harmonic structure based on the use of the interval of a perfect fourth in substitution of traditional structuring of chords in thirds. the later forbidding of parallel octaves and fifths). the parallel theory of quartal melody however has not been put across as of yet. A wider theory is that of quartal coupling. as the more "complex" intervals (thirds.In the years that followed. quartal towers. but some composers even found innovative uses for these intervals. composers such as Erik Satie borrowed stylistic elements from the Middle Ages. unrelated to its use observable in later music. and equal temperament came into favor. Theoretical systems and models in which the harmonic interpretation of fourth-chord. and tritones) move gradually from the margins to the centre of musical interest. one finds reference to concepts of quartal stratification. added much as one could add a third. With the end of the Middle Ages. which is handled harmonically as a special case. well temperament. sixths. Corresponding to this vertical structuring of chords is a melodically oriented (horizontal) usage of fourths. octave. disestablishing the importance of these intervals or at least handling them in a more restricted fashion (for instance. but in its development between the 12th and 16th centuries: At first these simple intervals occur so frequently that they appear to be the favourite sound of composers.  Properties of Quartal harmonies . and quartal chords which have minute differences. Jazz and Rock apply quartal harmony in the 1960s with a fondness. such as meantone temperament. In the history of western polyphony. This indicates that a fourth may be used to enrich an existing chord. For instance. these simpler intervals were plainly favoured. new rules for voice leading had been laid. the frequency ratios of these intervals would change slightly as different systems of tuning. and larger structures such as movements are described (as they have been in tertian harmony with functional harmony or diatonic theory and the concept of cadences) have not yet been developed. The music of the 20th century for the most part discards the rules of "classical" western tonality.
explains why fourths have this property. in that they have a tendency to forget which key they are in.B♭ .Cadentially-ordered fourths Quartal chord sounds have a somewhat "erratic" function. and the overall musical development. one has also produced in reverse a sequence of ascending fourths (this is the reason that modern theoreticians may speak of a "circle of fourths"). giving quartal harmony a new tonal centre corresponding to the original by a less stable ratio. The integral design of cadential models . The tones C . or is it simply a mental exercise forcing the music into a Procrustean bed? It can be an important criteria to note whether these suspensions and chromatic mutations of chord tones .B♭ may be regarded using traditional theory as a C dominant seventh chord (with an omitted fifth) in the midst of a 4-3 suspension.F . or as an inversion of an E-flat major chord with a second-suspension and embellishing sixth E♭sus2(add6).F . As part of a tonally directed listening there are also many interpretations of the fourth chords. a second inversion (6/4) chord. this extends again to F and so on .B♭. can easily be heard as a fourth-suspension in F major. The possibilities are quite numerous.A♭ the ear may hear an A♭ major or F minor sound with additional embellishing tones.  Analytical problems There is a question whether a chord built from fourths should be interpreted as a quartal-harmony structure. Dominant Seventh and Tonic 6/4 chord The C . or as C7sus4.F . and the progression of harmony including the preceding and following chords. Both interpretations may be valid. would also be a plausible label. which means that both intervals "fuse" with another to become the octave. is there a comprehensible and audibly functional meaning to the interpretation. where the fourth does not require resolution. for instance. or many other things. (Listen) Traditional continuation from suspensions to a Major or Minor triad The question of which strategy of analysis is advisable must be given an answer that is refined by the particular details: given one interpretation.E♭ . Extending quartal chords to four or more notes generate still more possibilities of a similar nature. In a five-tone "quartal tower" having the tones C . A four-tone chord C . or if it is more meaningful to interpret is as part of the traditional functional harmony. also C7sus4.F .G functions as the dominant of C. The fourth is the complement of the perfect fifth. When one arranges a circle of fifths in its "cadential order" (G -> C -> F -> B♭ and so on).E♭ can be seen. for example as a C minor chord with a minor seventh and embellishing fourth (Cm7add4 or Cm11). (Listen)Different possible interpretations of a quartal chord: Fourth suspension. and either may lead to interesting consequences. Fsus4.B♭ .
 Middle Ages In medieval music. Fourths in Guillaume Du Fay's Antiphon Ave Maris Stella This parallel 6/3 triad was incorporated into the contrapuntal style at the time. contemplation of the musical intervals was frequently expressed from theological perspectives. in which sometimes parallel fourths were considered problematic. and written around with ornaments or other modifications to Fauxbourdon. the fourth is favoured. a master of Faurxbourdon. Surely it must also be significant. Some composers who have featured quartal or quintal harmonies in their work include Arnold Schoenberg. This example from the score shows that the interval of a fourth constitutes over fifteen percent of the interval relationships. Pope John XXII issued a bull in 1324 forbidding most contrapuntal practice. fifth and octaves. Bela Bartok. which is a three voice technique (not infrequently improvisatory) in which the two lower voices proceed parallel to the upper voice at a fourth and sixth below. in this Alleluia (Listen) by Pérotin. An example of this is the start of the Marian-Antiphon Ave Maris Stella (Listen) by Guillaume Du Fay. Fauxbourdon. Also important was the practice of Fauxbourdon. is also an important step towards the later triadic harmony of tonality.  History Quartal harmony has had parallel developments in both vocal and instrumental music. the upper line would be accompanied a fourth below. This development continued. and many examples may be found with harmonic structures that favour quartal harmonies. a guidebook for musical practice of the time. while making extensive use of fourths. The Musica enchiriadis of the mid 10th century. described singing in parallel fourths. but permitting on solemn occasions an enrichment of the plainchant by the concord of the octave which he described as a . but has also occurred in the traditional music of many non-western cultures.(alterations) are resolved functionally as the interpretation dictates. Elsewhere in parallel organum at the fourth. whether it takes many listenings (or a study of the score) for the listener to understand the harmonic situation arranged by the interpretation. and the music of the Notre Dame school may be considered the apex of a coherent harmony in this style. Use of fourths in Pérotin's Alleluia For instance. the tonality of the common practice period had not yet developed. and Steve Reich. as it may be seen as a first inversion (or 6/3) triad. In medieval thought.
Also. Increasingly the harmonies of fifths and fourths yielded to uses of thirds and sixths. The Austrian composer Johann Joseph Fux published in 1725 his powerful treatise on composition of Counterpoint in the style of Palestrina under the title Gradus ad Parnassum (Latin: The Steps to Parnassus). Note against note). sounding out over earthly imperfection and infertility.symbol for the perfect beauty and holiness of God. Extract from Josquin Desprez' Benedictus from Missa Pange Lingua As time progressed through the late Renaissance and early Baroque. In Josquin Des Prez's 1515 Mass Missa Pange Lingua Listen) or the two-part Domine. the fourth became more understood as an interval that needed resolution.  Renaissance and Baroque The development of tonality continued through the Renaissance until it was fully realized at last by composers of the Baroque era. He outlined various types of counterpoint (e.g. Nouveau Système de musique theoretique (French: new system of music theory). cadence forms from works by Orlando Lasso and Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina show the fourth being resolved as a suspension. . along with the fifth and fourth which have a similar purity. Ascending and descending lines in the individual parts of the following example outline a fourth interval with their range. in Frescobaldi's Chromatic Toccata of 1635 the outlined fourths overlap. and often in Passus duriusculus passages of chromatic descent. dominus noster it still feels sparse. bisecting various church modes. In the first third of the 18th century. In the example. (Listen) Conventional closing cadences In the early Baroque music of Claudio Monteverdi. In the madrigals of Claudio Monteverdi and Carlo Gesualdo the intensive interpretation of the text (Word painting) frequently highlights the shape of a fourth as an extremely delayed resolution of a fourth suspension. ground-laying theoretical work on composition and harmony were written. which together may be considered the cornerstone of modern Music theory in view of consonance and harmony. Palestrina and Girolamo Frescobaldi triadic harmony was thoroughly utilized. Jean-Philippe Rameau completed his treatise Le Traité de l'harmonie réduite à ses principes naturels (French: the theory of harmony reduced to its natural principles) in 1722 which was supplemented by his work of four years earlier. Diatonic and chromatic passages strongly outlining the interval of a fourth appear in the Lamento genre. and suggested a careful application of the fourth as to avoid dissonance.
F . Over the barline between the second and third measures of the example a fourth-suspension can be seen in the second violin's tied C. commonly as part of the background urging the harmonic expression in a passage along to a climax. This counterpoint has two themes working together to highlight the fourth. Opening measures of J.C -> F) and them downwards in gestures outlining fourths (i.E♭ .9 (Listen) there is an extreme density of imitation (very often at the interval of a fourth) with such great care taken to maintain coherent harmony that Paul Hindemith would refer to Bach's counterpoint as a "harmony preserving carnival-mirror" („wahres harmonische Vexierspiel“) in his teachings.C' . and triadic harmony defined the musical work of this era. The subject of the fugue of the third movement of Beethoven's Piano sonata op. as in these compositions all of the elements and problems of tonality occur just as in larger works.B♭ -> E♭ .Bachs Sinfonia in F-minor.22 in the first book of the Well-Tempered Clavier or the Sinfonia no. such as the Fugue No.e.C). 110 (Listen) opens with three ascending fourths (A♭ -> D♭ . and the tendencies of quartal harmony were somewhat suppressed. .C) and the Violoncello (G C . there are many examples of dense counterpoint in this style. His keyboard works. KV 464. but the simplicity of instrumentation makes them easier to see. BWV 795  Classical and Romantic The blossoming of tonality and establishment of well temperament in Bach's time had a continuing effect up to the late Romantic period. Counterpoint was simplified to favour an upper line with a clear accompanying harmony. F . Still. Measures 11 to 17 from the first movement of Mozart's String Quartet KV 465 Examples of the tonal language are often taken from classical String quartets and Piano music. Arch shaped lines emphasizing fourths in the first Violin (C . such fourth-suspensions are also very prominent. Mozart in his so-called Dissonance Quartet KV 465 (Listen) used Chromatic and Whole tone scales to outline fourths. In another of his String quartets.S.This older style of counterpoint was often overlaid with a fully formed tonality in the works of the High Baroque. An increasingly refined cadence.G') are combined with lines emphasizing fifths in the second Violin and Viola. In the Cruxifixus of Johann Sebastian Bach's Mass in B Minor the intervals of the ascending fourth and descending fifth are thoroughly emphasized.D♭ .
132 (Listen) Beethoven exposes the fourth in a three note gesture (G♯ . Both works set in the leap of a fourth (E♭ . 8 („Atonalität und Tradition – Anton Weberns Vier Stücke für Geige und Klavier op. In Webern's use of this device. almost archaic way.C♭). The Freiburg musicologist Christian Berger pointed out in his writing Atonality and Tradition . began to dissolve. and this procedure is repeated many times.G . and as the 20th century began with tonality no longer a strong binding force. 110 To begin the second movement of his String Quartet in A Minor op. 12 of 1893 used tremolo passages of somewhat quartal harmony in a way that was relatively hard and modern. Berger found eight consecutive fourths set in this way. The target of this descending line becomes a starting point for the next upward fourth (G♭ . Measures 24 to 27 from Mussorgsky's The Hut on Fowl's Legs They used this harmony in a pungent. quartal harmony was given more room to breathe. Sibelius' Piano sonata in F-Major op.C♯) four times. and Jean Sibelius. 7“) a connection between Richard Wagner's so-called Liebestod-Melody (Love-Death) from the second act of the opera Tristan und Isolde and Webern's work. Even in the preceding example from Mussorgsky's Piano-cycle Pictures at an Exhibition (Избушка на курьих ножках (Баба-Яга) . Rudiments of quartal harmony appear in Janáček's Rhapsody Taras Bulba. In measure 5 this motive is combined with an inverted variation (outlining a descending fifth) in mixed rhythm. Excerpt from the 2nd Act of Richard Wagner's Opera Tristan und Isolde . Quartal harmony became important in the work of Slavic and Scandinavian composers such as Modest Mussorgsky. with all instruments playing in unison. Richard Wagner.G♭). Leoš Janáček.A . uncovered.A♭) two semitones downwards (A♭ .The Hut on Fowl's Legs) (Listen) the fourth always has an "unvarnished" entrance. often incorporating the Folk music of their particular homelands. Gustav Mahler and Claude Debussy.Opening of the fugue from the third movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonate Op. Opening of the second movement of Beethoven's String Quartet in A-Minor op. and descending fourths and sevenths can be found dominating the writing. his Opera Věc Makropulos (The Makropulos Affair) and Z Mrtvého Domu (From the House of the Dead).Anton Webern's Four Pieces for Violin and Piano op. 132 From 1850 to 1900 the expression of tonality by composers of the Late Romantic such as Anton Bruckner.
use the special "thinned out" sound of a fourthchord in late works for Piano (Nuages gris (Fr: Grey Clouds). Claude Debussy and others. Impressionism The Romantic composers Frédéric Chopin and Franz Liszt. and quartal harmony became an important means of expression in music by Maurice Ravel. 4. and polytonality as part of the language of Impressionism. This was best realized by his work Prometheus . like his Mystic chord in his 6th Piano Sonata. even allowing it as a place of relaxation. the Pentatonic scale. La lugubre gondola (Fr: The Mournful Gondola). as well as Pour les quartes (Fr: For Fourths) (Listen (Opening)) and Pour les arpéges composées (Fr: For Composite Arpeggios) from his Etudes. In this example from the 1897 work The Sorcerer's Apprentice (L'Apprenti sorcier) by Debussy's colleague composer Paul Dukas. Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Fr: Sounds and Perfumes Stir in the Evening Air). Alexander Scriabin used a self-developed system of transposition using fourth-chords. triadic fourth chords in the right hand over "normal" four-note chords in the left hand (Listen). Further examples are Debussy's orcehstral work La Mer (Fr: The Sea). No. Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l`air du soir These would become consolidated with Ninth chords. as the tireless work of out-of-control walking brooms causes the water level in the house to "rise and rise". Earlier sketches . and other works). Measures 28 und 29 from Claude Debussy's Préludes Book 1. Quartal harmony in "Laideronnette" from Maurice Ravel's Ma Mère l'Oye  20th century Music  "Art Music" Listen to the Mystic Chord At the beginning of the 20th century quartal structure finally became an important element of harmony.The Poem of Fire. The Impressionists would make much more use of this chord. altering its perception in the context of harmonic function and winning its status as an autonomous chord. La cathédrale engloutie (Fr: The Sunken Cathedral) of the Préludes. we see a rising repetition in fourths. the Whole tone scale. Quartal harmony in Maurice Ravel's Sonatine and Ma Mère l'Oye (Fr: Mother Goose) would follow a few years later. In the fourth piece from the first book of Debussy's Préludes.
B♭ . dass erstens Akkorde aus reinen Quarten (wie zum Beispiel in Arnold Schönbergs hierfür mit Recht vielzitierter Kammersinfonie) nicht ohne weiteres mit Mischungen aus übermäßigen.“) Quartal chord from Schoenberg's String quartet pictured above. and secondly.E .E♭ .G).left by Scriabin indicate that the composer apparently first intended that the work develop from a single non-transposed tonal centre. 9 Arnold Schoenberg's influential Chamber Symphony Op.F♯ . dass Skrjabin selbst seinen sogenannten mystischen Akkord keineswegs als Quartenakkord sondern vielmehr als eine Wiederspiegelung der Obertöne ansah.A . There was a growing need for a theory of quartal harmony in the context of the music of Scriabin and Liszt. Play (help·info) Vertical quartal-harmony in the opening measures of Arnold Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony for 15 Instruments Opus 9 Six-tone horizontal fourth chord in Arnold Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony op.A♭ distributed .D) into a seven-tone chord (C . Scriabin wrote this chord in his sketches as well as quartal and more traditional tertian writing." („Dabei wurde übersehen. Leonid Sabanejew published in 1912 a work on Scriabin's theoretical ideas about Prometheus: Poem of Fire in the periodical Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider). verminderten und reinen Quarten gleichzusetzen ist und zweitens.E . 1.A .B♭ . that Scriabin himself looked upon his so-called Mystic Chord not as a quartal structure but as a reflection of the overtone series. often passing between systems. Quartal harmony from Schoenberg's String Quartet No.D .F♯ . The work begins not from tonal harmony. but they may not have been appropriate.F . for example widening the six-tone quartal sonority (C .B♭ . as Hugo Riemann wrote in his Music Lexicon: "Firstly. but instead begins with a fictitious tonal-centre: the first measures construct a five-part fourth chord with the appearing tones C . 9 from the year 1906 () is a milestone in quartal harmony. chords from pure fourths (for example those in Arnold Schoenberg's well cited Chamber Symphony) without extension or mixture are used in the same way as diminished fourths.
der sämtliche zwölf Töne der chromatischen Skala enthält. elf-. The composer then leaves this vertical quartal harmony with a horizontal sequence of fourths C . and twelve-part chords.)" („Der quartenweise Aufbau der Akkorde kann zu einem Akkord führen..... Schoenberg was also one of the first to write on the theoretical consequences of this harmonic innovation. acht. die frei von jeder tonalen Beziehung sind. Quartal harmony in Hindemith's Flute Sonata. . nine. Percussion and Celesta. No." („Durch Alteration werden die Quartenakkorde zu noch nie gehörten Harmonien. 131. Play (help·info) Uninfluenced by the theoretical and practical work of the Second Viennese School.neun-. (.) Der quartenweise Aufbau ermöglicht (. In his Theory of Harmony of 1912.)“) For Anton Webern the importance of quartal harmony lay in the possibility of building new sounds. 64 of his collection of 114 songs).) the accommodation of all possible phenomena of harmony (. II with tonal center on B established by descent in left hand in dorian and repeated B's and F♯'s. Carl Orff and Igor Stravinsky employed quartal harmony... eleven.. Fourths in Béla Bartók's Mikrokosmos V. ten. (..D♭ from the horns. using quartal harmony as a formal principle.“) After seeing Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony he felt: "You must write something like that. zehn-. Fourths (Quartes) Also other composers. which was realized in other works as well. in which the piano part contained four-part fourth chords accompanying a vocal line which moves in whole tones: (). but can be free of all tonal relationships.over several instruments. the American Charles Ives meanwhile wrote in 1906 a song called The Cage (No. too!" („So was mußt du auch machen!“) (Page 48 of his book The Path to the New Music (52 of Der Weg zur Komposition)) Shortly after. he wrote his Four Pieces for Violin and Piano Op.F . die in Werken von einigen von uns schon vorkommen: sieben-.E♭ . eventually leading to a triadic harmony. zwölfstimmige Akkorde.A♭ . for example Béla Bartók with his piano work Mikrokosmos (Listen) and Music for Strings.. eight.B♭ .. Paul Hindemith.) die Unterbringung aller Phänomene der Harmonie (.. He wrote in the year 1912: "With alteration the fourth-chord never need belong to tonal harmony. 7. and with that comes a possibility for the systematic use of those harmonic phenomena that have already been obtained in some recent works having seven.) The quartal construction allows (. und damit immerhin eine Möglichkeit der systematischen Betrachtung jener harmonischen Phänomene erzielen.. he wrote: "The quartal construction of chords can lead to a chord containing all twelve tones of the chromatic scale.
Anton Webern and Alban Berg have written these harmonies (fourth chords).". for example.the musician is bound by this. A similarly obvious example is the work of Mieczyslaw Weinberg. der Architekt an die drei Dimensionen. sind wohl nicht weit davon entfernt. in which the ranking of intervals is unambiguous. that are the bindings of tonality.G . wie der Maler an die primären Farben.G♯ .“) British composer Sir Michael Tippett also employed quartal harmonies extensively in works from his middle period. Hermann Schroeder alternated in his works using fragments of ." („dass die Töne eine Familienzugehörigkeit besitzen.. who both go a similar way to Debussy.. die sich in der Bindung an tonale Haupttöne äußert. the prettiest nevertheless is the third by right of the chordal effects of its Combination tones. das schönste jedoch die Terz wegen ihrer in den Kombinationstönen begründeten Akkordwirkung. however. large parts of his symphonic work Mathis der Maler (Mathis the Painter) () by means of fourth and fifth intervals. der Musiker ist an ihn gebunden. or other mixtures of fourths and fifths (D♯ .C♯ in measure 3 of the example).D . In his 1937 writing Unterweisung im Tonsatz ("The Craft of Musical Composition") he wrote: "Tones have a family of relationships. Hindemith constructed.“) In his Theory of Harmony („Harmonielehre“) of 1922 Schoenberg remarked on page 407 (pg 487 in the cited German version): "Besides myself my students Dr. Dukas und vielleicht auch Puccini. die beide einen ähnlichen Weg gehen wie Debussy. folk songs and their peculiar rhythm and harmony with the open harmony of fourths and fifths. are not far off. Anton Webern und Alban Berg solche Klänge [gemeint sind Quartenklänge] geschrieben. Examples are his Piano Concerto and the opera The Midsummer Marriage.G becomes the fourth chord D . Dukas and perhaps also Puccini.. Fourth and fifth writing in the second movement of Paul Hindemith's Mathis der Maler Hindemith was. („Außer mir haben meine Schüler Dr. Aber auch der Ungar Bela Bartok oder der Wiener Franz Schreker. the architecht to the three dimensions.They joined romantic elements with baroque music. („. as the painter to his primary colours.A♯ . then fifth and thirdm then the fourth. die eine unzweideutige Rangliste der Tonverwandschaften aufstellt. but also the Hungarian Béla Bartók or the Viennese Franz Schreker.D♯ .C). These steps are a restructuring of fourth chords (C . An almost constant quartal harmony is used by Bertold Hummel in his Second Symphony of 1966. "The strongest and most unique harmonic interval after the octave is the fifth." („Das stärkste und eindeutige harmonische Intervall ist nächst der alleinstehenden Oktave die Quinte.“) He lined up the harmonic and melodic craft in a row where first appears the octave.“) so much that in the art of triadic composition ".. not a proponent of an explicit quartal harmony.
Important influences come thereby from Opera. Jazz musicians had a clear interest in harmonic richness of colour. Toru Takemitsu (Cross Hatch) and Hanns Eisler (Hollywood-Elegy). Operetta. makes extensive use of such sounds. Atmosphères of 1961. Duke Ellington and Art Tatum. the use of tone clusters juxtaposing minor and major seconds pushed aside quartal harmony somewhat. In the 1960s. Nevertheless. or other possibilities. Also the Polish composer Witold Lutosławski devised a usage that allows many harmonic combinations to be applied to a single part. A prevalent example for this is the beloved II-V-I Cadence of modern Jazz. Romantic composers. but substitutions have been made in the inner voices. Ivan Wyschnegradsky. as used by Pianists and Arrangers like Jelly Roll Morton. the musician plays the same outer voices as in a traditional cadence. the older Jazz usually handled fourths in the customary manner (as a suspension needing resolution). Robert Delanoff (Zwiegespräche für Orgel "Two conversations for Organ" of the year 1942). George Gershwin may be mentioned. Minor. A preference for quartal harmony is present in the works of Leo Brouwer (10 Etudes for Guitar). for which quartal harmony provided possibilities. As a transition to the history of Jazz. Military bands as much as Piano music of Classical. with a fleeting. having the colours of chords blurred and strongly ambiguous. Dominant. In the first movement of his Piano Concerto in F () altered fourth chords descend chromatically in the right hand with a chromatic scale leading upward in the left hand. moderated by his development of "Modes of limited transposition". tritones with semitones. etc. having several combinations that may be tried against it.  Jazz The style of Jazz. The orchestral work of György Ligeti. In the first movement of Olivier Messiaen's Turangalîla Symphony a six-tone combination is constructed in pieces from fourths and tritones. smooth flowing tonality.) gave way to block transpositions. like fourths with wholetones. was in its early days overtaken (until perhaps the Swing of the 1930s) by the vocabulary of 19th century European music.Gregorian Chant between quintal and quartal harmony. much like Schoenberg and Scriabin's. (Listen) The II-V-I Cadence (Listen) The Fourth-suspension or "Sus"-Chord Bebop brought an aesthetic change to modern Jazz: the chords which before had a relative identity (as Major. and somewhat the Impressionists. In the figure shown here. these altered voices still exhibit normal voice leading . Much of Messiaen's work applies quartal harmony. having an eclectic harmonic orbit.
was influential throughout this epoch. compositions of this time often had a frantic tempo. Miles Davis with his Sextet applied a self standing. preferred a moderate tempo. A typical Hard bop brass part. allowing more leeway in the harmony of fleeting chords. . Throughout the 1940s quartal harmony is employed as ongoing practice. See Horace Silver's Señor Blues (). in which the quartal harmony had extensive usage due to the wandering nature of its harmony. () From the outset of the 1960s. but sparsely. The multiplicity of possibilities available can be used as a framework for improvisation. only to hint at the intended harmony. free fourth chord for the composition "So What". from Horace Silver's Señor Blues The Hard bop of the 1950s made new applications of quartal harmony accessible to Jazz. "Thin" sounding "unison" Bebop horn sections occur frequently. Quartal harmony was also explored as a possibility under new experimental scale models as they were "discovered" by Jazz. like the pianist McCoy Tyner's work with saxophonist John Coltrane's "classic quartet". At this time a phenomenon known as Free Jazz also came into being. commonly Trumpet and Saxophone may proceed in fourths. Opening measures of Miles Davis's composition "So What" of 1959 On his watershed record Kind of Blue. Quintet writing with two brass instruments. free of any need to resolve as a supension. the employment of quartal possibilities had become so familiar that the musician now felt the fourth chord as belonging on its own. This style of writing. The pianists Herbie Hancock. The pioneering of quartal writing in later Jazz and Rock. Jazz was well suited to incorporate the medieval quartal harmony into improvisation. though many felt this music was not "hard" or expressive enough. In addition. This particular voicing is sometimes referred to as a So What chord. but it is balanced by bouts of very refined polyphony as in Cool Jazz.but within the extended harmony of Jazz. Oliver Nelson was also known for his use of fourth chord voicings. and Chick Corea are two musicians well known for their modal experimentation. and they became firmly situated in their compositional process. Musicians began to work extensively with the so-called church modes of old European music. in contrast with the decade previous. self standing. whereas the Piano as a uniquely harmonic instrument lays down chords.
In Hard Rock and Heavy Metal whole songs were often built up from riffs of fourths and fifths on the Electric guitar.() Fourths in Herbie Hancock's Maiden Voyage Between these intensive experiments with quartal harmony. The Progressive Rock bands like King Crimson. and specifically quartal harmony was referred to as fourth voicing. there is a well loved stylistic device.A♭ .G .B♭ . 1977.A♭ and D . See Ritchie Blackmore's song "Man on the Silver Mountain" () played by his band Rainbow in 1975. For example the opening of Tarkus (Eruption) by Emerson. Quartal harmony comes most commonly the .E♭ . with a riff completely composed of fourths. Gentle Giant or Emerson. on which they are very simple to play.B .B♭) is followed a semitone higher on F♯ with E .B♭ . Lake & Palmer () has such an ostinato in the bass. a clear and simple triadic tonality has formed a hegemony (sometimes extended with a seventh or ninth). the multitude of examples of quartal harmony must not be used to overlook the facts of the matter: Rock and Pop Music cover a wide field with a great deal of variety. accessible to the masses. the search for new applications for it in Jazz was quickly exhausted.  Rock Music In Rock Music quartal harmony became part of the compositional framework. At about 1970 quartal harmony had become part of the canon of everyday practice. This preference for fourths in Rock stems directly from the chosen "high instrument of Rock Music". or brass section.D . between Riffs and Power chords which often use fifths and fourths instead of triadic harmony. Here a sequence of fourths on F (F . In Jazz.C . Lake & Palmer show likewise a fondness for melody and harmony combined into a single structure. keyboards. This imitation allows harsh clashes between the parts to appear as a tension generating device without disrupting the continuity of the passage. but in most music intended to be a commercial success.E) three voices move one after another in canonic imitation.F♯. In Funk. the way chords were built from a scale came to be called voicing.B♭ . interjecting fourths in syncopation by the guitars. Consider the following riff from the song "Flashlight" () by George Clinton's band Parliament. the Ostinato. Some support from classical principles of composition was taken by Gentle Giant in their a cappella vocals in the song "Design" ().E♭ . Over two alternating fourth chords (F . the guitar. However. often in fourths.
ISBN 0-7866-4961-5. p. the guitar has a similarly central role as the harmonic instrument as in Rock.361. the notable Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) wrote pioneering works in the first half of the 20th century combining elements of folk music and the popular music of his homeland with the quartal-harmonic experiments of European and North American art music.role in a fourth suspension (as in Classical music). ^ Corozine.498. Even earlier. Latin music has a tendency toward a slightly faster tempo than music in the US.  Latin American Music The Popular music of Latin American countries is interrelated with the development in the USA. 2006 of the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia. Third Edition. Vince (2002). p. . Arranging Music for the Real World: Classical and Commercial Aspects. OCLC 50470629. Quartal harmony found its way into salsa and Latin jazz from the Jazz practice (such as the playing of John Coltrane). due to considerable cultural exchange. however. but also due to the concept of rhythm in the Afro-cuban tradition. As a result. MO: Mel Bay. Vol. Listen Guitar break from Milton Nascimentos composition "Vera Cruz" In the Música Popular Brasileira of Brazil. 14. for example in Elton Johns rock ballad Burn Down the Mission. ^ a b American Guild of Organists (1906). ^ Kostka & Payne (1995). The guitarist Carlos Santana became world-known by combining these influences together.  See also Secundal Tertian Polychord List of quartal pieces  References This article incorporates information from the revision as of July 20. p. Tonal Harmony. ISBN 0-07-300056-6. 12. The New Music Review and Church Music Review. Pacific. Listen The brass section of Ray Barretto's version of "Amor Artificial". the quartal oriented playing of the guitar was borrowed and the unique rhythmic tradition adapted to fit (as in Tropicalismo).
ISBN 3-525-27908-6 (Counterpoint and Effect .Untersuchungen zum Klavierwerk Franz Liszts. Mainz 1988. Further reading  Overall Diether de la Motte: Harmonielehre. Froberger. Pachelbel et al.) Martin Geck: Johann Sebastian Bach.. Schott. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Göttingen 2001. Jahrhunderts in der Kompositionspraxis von Josquin-Desprez.a. ISBN 3-423-041838 (Theory of Harmony) Urs Martin Egli: Hören und Nachdenken . München 1997 (10. Laaber 1987. Wiesbaden 1971. Palestrina. Karl Heinrich Möseler Verlag. Musikverlag Emil Katzbichler. Lasso.Studien zu den Madrigalen Carlo Gesualdos. ISBN 3-89007-533-9 (Claude Debussy and His Time)  20th century music Hermann Danuser: Amerikanische Musik seit Charles Ives.Salzburg 1994. Baroque Rudolf Flotzinger: Perotinus musicus. ISBN 3-7957-1797-3 (Virtuosity and the Avant Garde . ISBN 3-7877-3035-4 (Harmony)  Medieval. Froberger.A Real Theory of Harmony) Zsolt Gardonyi und Hubert Nordhoff: Harmonik. ISBN 3-7957-0431-6 (Music of Perotin) Claus Ganter: Kontrapunkt für Musiker . M. ISBN 3-500-23600-6 (Beethoven's String Quartets: A Technical Analytical Approach to These Works in the Context of His Intellectual Principles) Theo Hirsbrunner: Claude Debussy und seine Zeit. Pachelbel u. München . Lasso. Wolfenbüttel Neuausgabe 2002 (Erstdruck 1990). Renaissance. HBS Nepomuk.Studies of the Madrigals of Carlo Gesualdo)  Classical and Romantic Zsolt Gardonyi und Siegfried Mauser: Virtuosität und Avantgarde . Laaber-Verlag. ISBN 3907117-15-8 (Hearing and Contemplation .Gestaltungsprinzipien der Vokal. Reinbek 2002. Schott.und Instrumentalpolyphonie des 16.Eine reale Harmonielehre. Auflage) Erstauflage 1976. und 17. ISBN 3-499-50637-8 Peter Niedermüller: "Contrapunto" und "effetto" . ISBN 3-87397-130-5 (Conterpoint for Musicians . Mainz 2000. dtv. Aarau 2003. 2002.Investigating the Piano Work of Franz Liszt) Theodor Helm: Beethovens Streichquartette: Versuch einer technischen Analyse dieser Werke im Zusammenhange mit ihrem geistigen Gehalt. ISBN 3-89007-117-1 (The American Music of Charles Ives) . Palestrina. Rowohlt.Formal Principles of Vocal and Instrumental Polyphony of the 16th and 17th Centuries in the Compositional Practice of Josquin Desprez. Sändig.
Studie zur Harmonik Alexander Skrjabins.Gottfried Eberle: Zwischen Tonalität und Atonalität . Frangipani. Jahrhundert. München – Salzburg 1978. Musikverlag Emil Katzbichler. Oxford University Press (USA). Frankfurt am Main 1999. Sher Music. Rock. Los Angeles 1912/1978. Petaluma (Kalifornien) 1993.Study of Alexander Skriabin's Harmony) Ekkehard Kreft: Harmonische Prozesse im Wandel der Epochen (3. Peter Lang. ISBN 0-89917-397-7 Wolf Burbat: Die Harmonik des Jazz. dtv Bärenreiter. Kassel 1998.Teil) Das 20. ISBN 3-87397-044-9 (Between Tonality and Atonality . Belmont Music Publishers. Bool 3: The 20th Century) Arnold Schönberg: Theory of Harmony. For piano and ensemble. and Latin music David N. ISBN 3-631-47141-6 (Harmonic Processes in Change Between Epochs. ISBN 3-423-30140-6 or ISBN 3-42304472-1 (The Harmony of Jazz) Rebeca Mauleón: Salsa Guidebook. ISBN 0-9614701-9-4 David H. New York 1993. Rosenthal: Hard Bop. Bloomington (Indiana) 1983. Jazz and Black music 1955-1965. Baker: Jazz Improvisation. ISBN 0-19-508556-6  External links Quartalharmony with notes and listening examples Quartal voicing for the guitar Program notes for Arnold Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony for 15 Solo Instruments op. ISBN 0-52004944-6  Jazz. 9 [hide] v•d•e Chords By type Triad Major · Minor · Augmented · Diminished · Suspended Sevent Major · Minor · Dominant · Diminished · Half-diminished · Minor-major · Augmented h major · Augmented minor Extend Ninth · Eleventh · Thirteenth · Upper structure ed .
The 2nd and its inversion the 7th are the secondary intervals. .and four-part voicings on any possible combination of strings. In tertial harmony the 3rd and its inversion the 6th are the primary intervals. Using Quartal Harmony Learn to play fourth chords starting on any note in a major scale.Other Sixth · Minor sixth · Augmented sixth · Altered · Added tone · Polychord · Quartal and quintal · Tone cluster · Power chord By function Diaton Tonic · Dominant · Subdominant · Submediant ic Altere Borrowed · Neapolitan chord · Secondary dominant d Elektra chord · Hendrix chord · Mystic chord · Petrushka chord · Tristan chord · Psalms chord · So What chord · Mu chord With names Lesson 19: Quartal Harmony What Is Quartal Harmony? The "normal" chords used in traditional Western music are based on tertial harmony. The 4th and its inversion the 5th are the secondary intervals. These facts make tertial and quartal harmony opposites of each other. In quartal harmony the chords are ambiguous and not as easily named as in tertial harmony. The following chord can be easily recognized as a C major triad and its inversions: In quartal harmony the 4th and its inversion the 5th are the primary intervals. The 3rd and its inversion the 6th are missing. Explore the three.
. There I take three-part fourth chords through the entire rhythm changes form. though. .there is more.. They are very strong and when you use them past a certain point you will start sounding ridiculous. Now explore inversions fourth chords over bass notes playing fourth chords through the harmonic minor and melodic minor scales Beware of overusing fourth chords.Check out my rhythm changes quartal harmony etude. This is a great way to arrive at cool melodies and particularly useful in a modal setting: When you have got this down ..it may take a while .. You should also be able to arpeggiate the fourth chords.
doesn't it? . The first example can be used over a Dm7 chord: This second example is from Joshua by Victor Feldman . first in fourths and then inverted . fourth voicings can be used to spice things up a bit.first C Ionian and then C Lydian: The inversion of a fourth is a fifth. Check out this example.sounds a bit like something Joe Diorio might play.Joe Henderson's version with John Scofield on guitar .Comping with Fourth Voicings In a harmonically static situation.D Dorian: This third example can be used over a Cmaj7 chord .
Some of Hindemith's works. and Du Fay. as well as Prometheus. In chordal structures we speak of quartal harmony when some fourths are stacked together. Gesualdo. and Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony. with the Mystic Chord consisting of an augmented fourth. such as Mathis der Maler. Op. specifically the 6th. 464 and K. 7. and Marenzio. diminished fourth. the "Cruxifixus" of Bach's Mass in B Minor and perhaps the 22nd Fugue from the Well-Tempered Clavier I. 465 (Dissonance quartet) put a lot of emphasis on fourths and on fourth suspensions. It can be used as an enrichment of another harmonic language and can be seen as a tonal expansion of the common practice focus on thirds. Ives' The Cage. 9.Quartal harmony From Young Composers Jump to:navigation. the common practice favouring the third was not common yet. Other traces can be found in some of Skryabin's later piano sonatas. Webern's Four Pieces for Violin and Piano. search Quartal harmony has a preference for fourths. Now these aren't necessarily quartal harmonies but they are works that have a strong emphasis on fourths. augmented fourth. . These can appear in melodic lines as often occurring intervals. because it is its inversion. and two perfect fourths. History As can be seen in some medieval works by Perotin. Quartal harmony is close related to quintal harmony. Also. Op. Also Mozart's K. Leonin. This is the same in some Renaissance music of Josquin and madrigals of Montiverdi.